Tuesday 17 March 2015 — Latest update Tuesday 24 November 2015

30th December le 30 décembre

“The child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom and God’s favour was with him.”

1 Jn.2,12-17 Ps.95 Lk.2,36-40

30th December “There was a prophetess, too, Anne, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. She had been married seven years before remaining a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple serving God night and day.”

God rejuvenates our hope by proposing to us to become close to the lovely baby at Christmas time and to these two elderly people, Simeon and Anne. We usually see signs of hope in all that is new : new initiatives, the presence of young people full of promise, and how right we are to do so, for on a human level and in the perspective of life, it is indeed the young who are going to go through time, ensuring the race of words and the survival of communities. When it is a question of the realities of what lies beyond us, and of friendship with God in Eternal Life, the evening of our life can be a very beautiful sign of hope.

This woman Ann proclaims God’s praises. She seeks the Presence of the Living God. Each day she would come to the Temple ensuring people of her prayer and would be in the Temple day and night : ’Serving God day and night in fasting and prayer.’ She had acquired such a strong patience and sensitivity that the Holy Sprit could get close to her and manifest himself to her. When Jesus and Mary come to the Temple, she draws close to them and sings the praises of God. In all simplicity, she follows them as if one would follow a light.

“She praised God and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”

This really is how Anne lived. The older she became, the more her life was reduced to what was most essential. As if her faith was being made pure : ’She never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer.’

Few means, but a great Love. A growing discretion before the work of God, a faultless devotion to praise and thanksgiving - all this is a path of hope, a witness to the hope in the other life. As soon as we go in the direction of what is essential, we become closer to God’s youth. As soon as we re-orientate everything to God in prayer, we anticipate the new order of things which will

be an eternal daily life in the accomplished Kingdom. She knows how to determine in the people of Jerusalem those who are waiting for the deliverance of Jerusalem and she is going to speak to them of the child.

We contemplate this work of gentleness and tenderness that speaks of the child; she has founded an enthusiasm again! In this Christmas period, a new plenitude is expressed. Henceforth, our life is guided by the Holy Sprit. Anne runs to announce the child Jesus to all those who are waiting for the deliverance of Israel. She speaks of what she reads in the eyes of this tiny little child, in the eyes of Mary and in the eyes of Joseph. This message is for us, awaiting to be delivered.

“Now the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was with him.”

After a whole life of inner reflection and prayer, God chose a moment of prophetic witness for Anne : ’She came up at that moment and began to praise God ; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.’

A whole life of fidelity is not too much to go through in order to earn the privilege of naming God when he comes to visit the earth. A whole life of prayer for the joy of joining the mystery of the Tenderness of God in the gaze of the tiny little infant Jesus. The grace of Christmas-time is one of the ’tiny little one’. This littleness will be filled with God. This great poverty will be a welcome for God who will be able to take all his place within us. Jesus has us become the children of God! Anne has become a whole new creature! The child drowsing in us has to grow up and to be strengthened thanks to Jesus, the Saviour of humanity. Led by Mary, we go forward, filled with the Holy Sprit, asking that the grace of God be continuously upon us. This spiritual childhood helps us to go beyond the faults of childhood. We want to remain in this transformation that Christmas brings to us. Deep silence enveloped all things; it was right in the middle of the night when the All Powerful Word made flesh, came down from Heaven.

We ask for the grace to be renewed with a desire to dwell in the Love brought by Jesus.